First openly transgender bishop in Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

First openly transgender bishop in Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

SAN FRANCISCO — On Saturday, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is set to openly install its first openly transgender bishop.

One of the church s 65 synods will lead a parish in Northern California, overseeing nearly 200 congregations in northern Nevada, following the installation service at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

Rohrer was elected for a six-year term as Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod in May after its current bishop announced his retirement.

I step into this role because a historic community of Lutherans in Northern California and Nevada prayerfully and thoughtfully voted to do a diverse thing, Rohrer said in a statement. My installation will celebrate all what is possible when we trust God to guide us forward. Rohrer, who uses the pronoun they, previously served as pastor of the Grace Lutheran Church in San Francisco and was a chaplain coordinator for the city s police department and also helped minister to the city's homeless and LGTBQ community. They studied religion in Sioux Falls, California, before moving to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to pursue a master and doctoral degree at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.

Rohrer became one of seven LGBTQ pastors accepted by the progressive Lutheran church in 2010, after it allowed ordination of pastors in same-sex relationships. Rohrer is married and has two children.

The church is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with an estimated 3.3 million members.